Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross

Source: It Books
Hardcover, 192 pages
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Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross is not a biography, but an an examination of Kurt Cobain’s impact as a musician and artist on the music industry, fashion, and yes on the national dialogue about suicide and addiction.  Cross and Cobain did have friends in common, and he has relied on first-hand accounts and statements made by Nirvana’s members and Courtney Love, his wife at the time of his death.  Cobain’s impact on music is clear from the times Nirvana’s albums made the “best of” lists of magazines, alongside the band’s videos.

“I would argue that no rock star since Kurt has had that same combination of talent, voice, lyric-writing skill, and charisma — another reason he is so significant, two decades after his death.  The rarity of that magic combo is also part of the reason Kurt’s impact still looms so large over music.” (page 11)

This slim volume easily makes the case for Cobain’s impact on music before the onslaught of per-song downloads, and his lasting impressions on the Hip-Hop genre.  Readers will get a true dose of how the music world influenced fashion and how in the case of Grunge, which Cobain never understood how it could be attached to him or his music, was harder to bring to high-fashion houses.  Given that flannel and cardigans in Cobain’s style, which was born out of his monetary troubles, were easily obtained for a few dollars at local thrift stores or even just Kmart, fans were not interested in buying $6,000 trench coats or other high-priced fashion items made to resemble those thrift store finds.

“Many rock stars have an impact on fashion, but Kurt’s influence has truly been a bizarre outgrowth of his fame, and one that will last (even if his music will undoubtedly be his greatest legacy.).  Kurt very much planned his musical career, writing out imaginary interviews with magazines in his journals long before he became famous.  But he never considered that if he became a star, his ripped-up jeans and flannel shirts might one day end up on the runway’s of New York fashion shows.” (page 65-6)

Cross touches upon the studies of suicide rates following Cobain’s death and how his death led to the inclusion of resources in reports on suicide to help those in need.  Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross is a book that focuses on the influence of a music talent on our culture without offering judgment on his personal choices in life.

About the Author:

Charles R. Cross is a Seattle-based journalist and author. He was the Editor of The Rocket in Seattle for fifteen years during the height of the Seattle music mania.

13th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #260

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has gone through a few incarnations from a permanent home with Marcia to a tour of other blogs.

Now, it has its own permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1.  Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost edited by Gary D. Schmidt, illustrated by Henri Sorensen for review from Sterling Children’s Books in April.

Whether he’s capturing a cold New England winter or the simple beauty of an old abandoned house, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost creates magic. This stunning celebration of his best-loved work includes over 25 poems, including “Mending Wall,” “Birches” and, of course, “The Road Not Taken.” Henri Sorensen’s gorgeous images perfectly complement each verse.

2.  Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad, illustrated by Benny Andrews for review from Sterling Children’s Books in April.

A fresh design and appealing new cover enliven this award-winning collection in the acclaimed Poetry for Young People series. Showcasing the extraordinary Langston Hughes, it’s edited by two leading poetry experts and features gallery-quality art by Benny Andrews that adds rich dimension to the words. Hughes’s magnificent, powerful words still resonate today, and the anthologized poems in this splendid volume include his best-loved works: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”; “My People”; “Words Like Freedom”; “Harlem”; and “I, Too”–his sharp, pointed response to Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing.”

3.  Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry edited by Arnold Rampersad and Marcellus Blount, illustrated by Karen Barbour for review from Sterling Children’s Books in April.

The newest addition to the acclaimed Poetry for Young People series shines a light on the power and beauty of African-American verse. Co-editors Arnold Rampersad and Marcellus Blount—both towering figures in literary criticism—have put together an impressive anthology that will open up a world of wonderful word images for children. The classic poems come from some of the most influential and celebrated African-American writers in history, including Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, Lucille Clifton, and James Baldwin. Helpful and generous annotations, a lively introduction, and beautiful illustrations by Karen Barbour make this the ideal book to introduce young readers to the marvels of poetry.

4. Ode to Childhood: Poetry to Celebrate the Child edited by Lucy Gray for review in April from the publisher Batsford.

Celebrate children! Featuring work by some of the world’s great poets, this beautifully illustrated anthology captures all the charms, beauty, and love of childhood. The selections include William Blake’s gentle “A Cradle Song,” Walt Whitman’s “There Was a Child Went Forth,” and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Children’s Hour,” as well as verses by Milton, Wordsworth, Christina Rossetti, and more.

5.  Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross from It Books for review in March.

Charles R. Cross, author of the highly regarded, bestselling Kurt Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven, examines the legacy of the Nirvana frontman and takes on the question: why does Kurt Cobain still matter so much, 20 years after his death?


6.  Black Lake by Johanna Lane from Little, Brown and Company for review in May.

A debut novel about a family losing grip of its legacy: a majestic house on the cliffs of Ireland.

For generations, the Campbells have lived happily at Dulough, an idyllic, rambling estate on the windswept coast of Ireland. But upkeep has drained the family coffers. Faced with the heartbreaking possibility of having to sell, John Campbell makes a very difficult decision; to keep Dulough he will turn the estate into a tourist attraction. He and his wife, daughter and son will move from the luxury of the big house to a small, damp caretaker’s cottage. The upheaval strains the already tenuous threads that bind the family, and when a tragic accident befalls them, long-simmering resentments and unanswered yearnings are forced to the surface. As each character is given a turn to speak, their voices tell a complex and fascinating story about what happens when the upstairs becomes the downstairs, and the legacy that remains when family secrets are revealed.

7.  The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston, which came unexpectedly from St. Martin’s Press.

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

What did you receive?